Netflix will shutter its DVD business after 25 years, with DVD.com coming to a close in 2023.
“After an incredible 25 year run, we’ve decided to wind down DVD.com later this year,” co-CEO Ted Sarandos wrote in a memo Tuesday. “Our goal has always been to provide the best service for our members but as the business continues to shrink that’s going to become increasingly difficult. So we want to go out on a high, and will be shipping our final discs on September 29, 2023.”
Founded by Reed Hastings and Marc Randolph in 1997, the streaming service got its start as a DVD-by-mail service. As Netflix expanded to its highly popular streaming service, boosting both library titles and the streamer’s slate of original content, DVD.com has remained in business until Tuesday’s announcement.
“Those iconic red envelopes changed the way people watched shows and movies at home — and they paved the way for the shift to streaming,” the memo continues. “From the beginning, our members loved the choice and control that direct-to-consumer entertainment offered: the wide variety of the titles and the ability to binge watch entire series.”
Sarandos also noted that DVD business gave the streamer its start into original programming, including Red Envelope Entertainment titles “Sherrybaby” and “Zach Galifianakis Live at the Purple Onion.”
The streamer announced the news in a tweet to viewers, saying “Thank you for being part of this incredible journey, including this final season of red envelopes.”
Netflix also posted an FAQ for users, which elaborates the streamer will accept returns until October 27th, 2023 with subscriber’s last bill landing in August. “After your August payment, you will continue to receive service until our final shipping day, September 29th,” the FAQ reads.
“We feel so privileged to have been able to share movie nights with our DVD members for so long, so proud of what our employees achieved and excited to continue pleasing entertainment fans for many more decades to come,” the memo concludes.
The move positions Redbox Entertainment as the last big DVD rental company. Redbox, through its familiar red kiosks at grocery stores and convenience stores, rents movies and video games at signifcantly lower prices than most on-demand platforms.
Redbox, founded in 2002 by Gregg Kaplan and sold to private equity firm Apollo Global Management in 2016 for $1.6 billion, launched a free ad-supported streaming service in December 2020.